The long awaited reader, Natural Born Learners is finally here.
Read all about it!
January 2014—Natural Born Learners: Unschooling and Autonomy in Education edited by Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko and Carlo Ricci.
Humans are natural learners. This collection of essays challenges much of mainstream beliefs about how people learn, encouraging the reader to consider deeply the need for learners to be trusted and listened to. Many of the authors in the book begin from a learner-centered, democratic perspective. Divided into three sections, the first part of the book deals with what constitutes a learner-centered approach to education. The second section addresses how some have implemented this approach. In the last section, learners who have lived learner-centred learning share narratives about their experiences.
“For those who want to restore natural learning—whether for themselves, their children, or all of society—this book is a great resource. We can all learn here from contributors who have helped to explain how natural learning works, from those who have helped to make such learning more possible in today’s world, and from those lucky individuals who grew up learning naturally.”Background:
- Peter Gray, Research Professor of Psychology at Boston College and Author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self- Reliant, and Better Students for Life.
“This book explores the roots of self-direction and offers a series of highly insightful and creative ways to help people be open, peaceful, natural learners. The roots of democratic living are fostered by what is said here. School administrators, teachers, parents, students, politicians and virtually all citizens will benefit from reading this. I most highly recommended this unusually fine and stimulating book.”
- Conrad Pritscher, Professor Emeritus, Bowling Green State University
Most of the pieces in this book are derived from interviews aired on the Radio Free School program that ran from 2002 to 2008 on 93.3 fm CFMU in Hamilton. It is divided into three sections:
1. What is unschooling/natural learning/self-determined learning;
2. What does it look like in practice, and;
3. The stories of those who unschooled and are now adults.
Part 1 What is Self-Determined Learning and Unschooling?
Chapter 1 Schooling: A Highly Questionable Practice
John Taylor Gatto
Chapter 2 You Don’t Have to go to Grow:
Growing Without Schooling
Chapter 3 An Education in the Age of Climate Change
Chapter 4 A Learning System Fit for a Democracy
Chapter 5 An Interview About a Sense of Self
Chapter 6 Trust, Not Education
Chapter 7 A Conversation About the Magical Child
Joseph Chilton Pearce
Chapter 8 Hold Onto Your Kids
Chapter 9 The Price of Praise
Chapter 10 The Words We Use:
Living as if School Doesn’t Exist
Part II Lights. Camera. Action! (This is How it Works).
Chapter 11 We Don’t Need No Education,
We Don’t Need No Thought Control:
Reflections on Achieving Musical
Literacy and the Importance of Unschooling
John. L. Vitale.
Chapter 12 What Does it Mean to be Educated?
John Taylor Gatto
Chapter 13 Democratic Schools
Chapter 14 Aware and Alive
Chapter 15 From Albany to Now
Chapter 16 Guerrilla Learning
Chapter 17 Getting Kids on the Streets
Chapter 18 Improving Unschooling through
Strewing and Spirituality
Chapter 19 Learning Together by Starting an Educational Co-operative
Chapter 20 The Everyday Lives of Black Canadian
Monica Wells Kisura
Chapter 21 The Praxis of SelfDesign as a New Paradigm for
Chapter 22 Home Education in Quebec
Chapter 23 Learning From Within and From All That is
Seema Ahluwalia and Carl Boneshirt
Part III They’ve Grown Up
Chapter 24 Life is a Field Trip and You don’t Need a Permission Slip
Chapter 25 Pioneer Unschooler
Chapter 26 Growing up Weird
Chapter 27 I Love my Life
Chapter 28 I’m Educated
Chapter 29 Redefining Success
Jessica Claire Barker
Chapter 30 Unschooling Experience
Chapter 31 I’m Unschooled and Yes, I Can Write
Chapter 32 The Subtle but Radical Frame of Being a
Contributor Versus Being Successful
Chapter 33 More Time is More Freedom
Chapter 34 Motivation, Method, and Mastery: How I learned
Music Without Being Taught.
About the Editors
Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko is a free-lance writer and blogger. She blogs extensively at Natural Born Learners (radiofreeschool.blogspot.com) and has founded Personalized Education Hamilton to facilitate self-determined learning in her community. She works for a not-for-profit environmental organization as a project manager and coordinator. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her husband and three children who were all unschooled for a time.
Visit her website to see other writing at bekoko.ca.
Carlo Ricci is a professor of education and currently teaches in the Graduate Program at the Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University. He edits and founded the Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning. He has written and edited a number of books including The Willed Curriculum, Unschooling, and Self-Direction: What Do Love, Trust, Respect, Care, and Compassion Have to Do With Learning; and Turning points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories (AERO, 2010) with Jerry Mintz; and The Legacy of John Holt: A Man Who Genuinely Understood, Trusted, and Respected Children (HoltGWS, 2013) with Patrick Farenga. He has also written numerous articles on unschooling and self-determined learning. He lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife and two children.
Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko
905 529 7408
Dr. Carlo Ricci
(519) 752-1524 ext. 7510
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